Stirling Revolution Feb/March

Let’s get one thing straight, this tabloid is all about mountain biking … and some gravel bikes (love them). And the following banter is about what you should have/do as a mountain biker, and it follows therefore that there are ‘things’ you shouldn’t have or do.

A quick disclaimer: if you’re a hotshot, competitive XC/Marathon rider this list doesn’t apply to you because
you want light and fast and you’re sponsored, and you may even represent your country’s colours and
therefore you don’t always have full autonomy in your decision-making process.

 

CONCLUSION

There is truth in a lot of what this list tells us. Most of us have ridden with guys whose behaviour falls within
the second column. And, although this list has some tongue-in-cheek commentary there is a whole lot of
stuff in the ‘should not’ column that drives you crazy and is frustrating for the group of riders that are trying
to do things right. Your ride is cut short because your buddy’s bike breaks down because he doesn’t look after it … where authorities stop you and you’re delayed because he has not paid!

There is technical advice in the first column that will make you a better rider (e.g. a dropper seat post and wider bars). There is also no reason to look like you have no clue about looking good by not wearing wornthrough Lycra shorts where the padding has imploded and where a colony of bacteria is the start of a new breed of bad beings. Or wearing an old, faded Mountain Hermits social riding shirt that has seen its day a decade or more ago.

Mountain biking is such a lekker sport catering for all shapes and sizes and budgets and riding disciplines.
Whoever I am or you are doesn’t mean that we have to look like sh*t; not pay our way, dues and fees;
inconvenience our riding mates with poor preparation and low maintenance; behave poorly on the trails;
disregard our and other riders safety and worry our friends and family.

Finally: we should take full responsibility for ourselves, whether we’re alone or riding together. The more prepared you are as an individual the better it is for you and the buddies you ride with.

Before the ride. During the ride. And after the ride

You Should Ride You Should Not Ride
In baggies – cool In Lycra shorts – not cool
With a dropper seat post – more control With a rigid seat post
Wearing long-finger gloves With no gloves or short finger gloves
With knee and elbow protective gear Unprotected (like sex)
With wide bars Narrow bars
Your bike A stolen bike
A bike from your LBS or a pre-owned deal A bike from an online direct manufacture / warehouse / supermarket
In a fashionable TRAIL shirt In a RACE shirt – unless you’re in the race
A quiet, clean, well-maintained MTB A noisy, dirty, under-maintained bike
In a quality, less than three year old helmet In an old or damaged helmet
With your own emergency spares Relying on your mates and their carefully planned bag of fixers
Money for beers / coffee No money / your buddy’s money
Pay your trail fees Dodge payments at all ‘costs’
Pay club / Sanparks / Trail Network annual fee Ride without paying your dues
With a quality bell…on all shared trails Shouting ‘get out the way’
With a mobile phone Nuff said
Emergency contact details on your bike & phone Incognito and uncontactable is not cool unless no one loves you
With pepper spray or a 45 Magnum Unless you’re Chuck Norris
With Strava on With Strava off
Find a friend on Find a friend off
Tell someone where you’re riding NOT tell someone
With basic emergency repair capabilities With a ‘not a clue what to do’ approach
With tyres that have plenty of tread and few plug Tyres with worn out tread and that looks like a limp, plugged porcupine

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